On November 12, Gavin Brown’s enterprise will present our good friend Arthur Jafa’s, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death. This is Jafa’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and will be the first time this work has been shown publicly.
Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death is a layered homage to 70s club anthem ”Love Is The Message” by Philly International’s studio orchestra MFSB, (a favorite of Paradise Garage DJ Larry Levan and once upon a time theme song for Soul Train) and to the classic short story, “Love is the Plan and the Plan is Death”, by one of Jafa’s most beloved shape shifters, 70’s “New Wave” speculative fiction author James Tiptree, aka Alice “Raccoona” Bradley Sheldon.
The viral outgrowth of an aborted found-footage exercise, the 7-minute video is an alternately mirthful-cum-melancholic-cum-cardiac-arresting meditation on race-agency wrapped in a visually sermonic recitation of race tragedy wrapped in a nuanced and feverish exultation of diverse Black American lives at various states of collapse and regeneration–a spectrum of community including those identified by Jafa in an earlier project as “The Uncommon Folk”, alongside more widely celebrated figures he indexes as “The Specialists”.
If you happen to be in New York between now and December 17th be sure to check this one out.